L’Initiative is aware of the importance of gender-related factors of vulnerability, which are at the root of health inequalities. As a result, we strive to integrate these issues into the projects we support and the expertise we call upon.
Health systems are fairer and stronger when they integrate the specific needs of all, including men, women, cisgender and transgender people, and any individuals who don’t identify with gender norms.
Gender equality is a condition for progress in global health
Individuals’ health and their access to health services are largely determined by the social gender norms that are applied to them. Depending on the geographic area and social context, healthcare pathways differ for women, men, and transgender and cisgender people. For example, power relations within a couple may hinder access to health services.
Gender inequalities are reflected in other, even more pressing issues, including sexual violence, early marriage, poor access to information, low negotiating ability on condom use, etc. Similarly, gender-based discrimination (including family, cultural, and political constraints) can represent a major barrier to screening, to the quality of the care experience, to compliance with treatment, and even to the organization of professional health activities.
Our strategy for gender-sensitive projects and interventions
France is strongly committed to gender equality, which is at the heart of its feminist diplomacy. L’Initiative fully supports this approach, in line with France’s 3rd international strategy for gender equality. This commitment involves supporting more programs which integrate gender-based factors of vulnerability (for women, men, and cisgender and transgender people), particularly factors relating to the HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis pandemics.
Leading by example
To lead by example, we have adopted new internal practices. We strive to mainstream gender equality in the content of our technical assistance missions. We work to achieve a better balance between the women and men involved in our missions. Finally, our aim over the coming years is that 75% of the projects we support will include at least one objective related to reducing gender inequalities.
Our tools and resources to mainstream gender in our interventions
We produce and communicate knowledge about gender mainstreaming in health strategies, which we share through various channels:
Webinar. L’Initiative has developed a webinar aimed at the experts we work with, to help them integrate gender into technical assistance missions and projects. The webinar consists of three modules: “Gender and Pandemics,” “Gender and Types of supports,” and “Gender and Mission methodology.”
MOOC. Prepared by Expertise France, l’Agence Française de Développement, and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, this online course includes nine one-hour modules. It is aimed at helping international development professionals to change unequal gender relationships through their professional practices, and to systematically mainstream gender into their activities.
Guide / Toolkit. L’Initiative has devoted one section of its guide The meaningful integration of community health workers and key populations to mainstreaming community health, gender, and human rights.
DAC classification. L’Initiative applies the “gender equality marker” system developed by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to all projects it evaluates. A score between 0 and 2 indicates the extent to which gender has been taken into account in public development assistance.
Projects promoting gender equality
France is committed to ensuring that, by 2025, 75% of bilateral socially responsible and sustainable investments will be allocated to projects incorporating gender equality as a primary or significant objective, and 20% will be allocated to projects with gender equality as their primary objective.
L’Initiative subscribes to this dynamic by funding around twenty programs in which gender equality is the starting point of the project, its primary objective, and represents the majority of expected outcomes. From West Africa to Lebanon and Myanmar, from the fight against tuberculosis to the fight against HIV/AIDs, gender equality is a priority in the support we provide.
In Myanmar, L’Initiative provides financial support to the NGO Medical Action Myanmar, to overcome gender-related barriers and to improve access to healthcare for ethnic minorities living in isolated rural areas in the north of the country.
Through the “Auxilium legalis” project, Enda Santé Côte d’Ivoire is improving the availability of legal services for populations at high risk of HIV and tuberculosis, including victims of sexual exploitation, women and young girls living with HIV or disabilities, and transgender people. The aim is to increase their understanding of their rights and to improve the national coordination and monitoring of human rights interventions.